You know all that financial advice you read – save $1000, pay off your debt this way, spend your money that way? It all sounds good right? And your intention is to do it exactly that way. You make a budget and it all works out on paper.
Then, about 5 minutes later, life happens.
For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t know how to get money or what to do with it once we do. It’s that our minds get in the way.
You tell yourself that this one thing that’s in your budget won’t matter. You’ll make up for it next week. You know all the lines, I’m sure.
So, you buy whatever the thing is. And then you proceed to beat yourself up for it.
Because you knew better.
No, really, stop it.
Your Brain on Money is here to help you understand that your craziness around money is not all in your mind – some of it is hardwired in your brain.
That doesn’t mean you’re doomed, though. I’ll also show you how to use the latest research in psychology and a new field called neuroeconomics to get some financial sanity and start reaching your goals.
What You Won’t Find Here
This blog is about principles, not predictions. I won’t be telling you where to get the best coupon deals or which credit card offers the best rebates. Those things change often, but once you learn how to notice and change your emotional thinking around money, you’ll be able to research and choose for yourself.
What You Will Find Here
My commitment is to help you understand yourself better – what part of your financial behavior is hard-wired and what part is under your control. What the environmental and internal influences are that drive your decisions, and how you can use that knowledge to make better decisions AND STICK TO THEM.
After all, good decisions are a dime a dozen. And they are worth less than that if you can’t stick to them.
Who Is This Chick, Anyway?
I bring a unique perspective to the topic of money. With an undergraduate degree in Finance and Banking, a Master’s in Social Work, and 30 years experience as a psychotherapist I see the issue from several different vantage points.
On a Personal Level
First off, I come from a family that offered a broad spectrum of financial status and behaviors around money. My grandmother stuffed hundreds of dollars into the ceramic chickens that lined her display shelves, but she would not buy a dog collar if she thought it should cost $1 instead of the $1.10 it was marked. She wouldn’t go to the drive-through window at the bank because she didn’t trust them. She always went into the bank instead.
My Mom was a single Mom and we weren’t rich. I never realized exactly how rich we weren’t because she never talked about money. This may give you a clue – when she was in her ’60’s she declared bankruptcy on the $50,000 plus credit card debt she had run up. Her monthly Social Security check was about $1300 at the time and it was her only source of income. The only reason she quit charging was because she couldn’t make the minimum payments anymore. Then she paid an attorney to file bankruptcy, even though she had NO assets to protect.
My aunt had the visible money in the family and she used to it buy my grandmother’s favor. We saw her about once a year and she would take everyone on a shopping spree.
As an adult, I’ve been through times when I struggled with money and times when it seemed much easier. Times when income was great and times when it wasn’t. I’ve learned that there are plenty of problems money doesn’t solve. There are also plenty of problems it does. Knowing the difference and acting accordingly has been the challenge.
On a Professional Level
As a hospice social worker and a psychotherapist, I watched patients and clients struggle with money in many different ways. Hospice families avoiding financial planning. Clients struggling to work their way out of debt. Couples arguing over “money”, when that really wasn’t the issue at all. People using money as bait and as leverage. People using money as an excuse not to realize their dreams, when that really wasn’t the issue at all.
What I Believe
Getting your financial house in order isn’t really about the money at all. If you’re reading Your Brain on Money, you most likely earn enough money to make your budget work on paper. It is making it work in real life that is the problem. What’s the answer? It isn’t in the personal finance books – or at least the whole answer isn’t. It isn’t in the psychology books, either – or at least the whole answer isn’t. The answer is in you – recognizing your values, setting priorities based on those values, making decisions that support those priorities, and then forming habits that bring those decisions into reality. I’m here to share the information and tools to help you do that.
Come Along for the Ride
In case you got the idea that I’ve perfectly mastered this whole thing – I haven’t. I’m still on the road! If you’d like to come along for the journey, enter your email address in the form below and I’ll make sure to include you in all the updates, fun, and freebies to come. Today, I’ll send you my special report “7 Money Mistakes Your Brain is Hard-Wired to Make”.